Rain Gauges in The Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries

Rain gauges, as already have been shown, were used periodically in various parts of the world at different times, viz., in India around the fourth century B.C., Palestine in the first century A.D., China in the thirteenth century, and Korea in the fifteenth century, but they were not used in Europe till about the seventeenth century.

The first to have done so on that continent was the Italian, Benedetto Castelli, who made some isolated experiments with a non-recording rain gauge around 1639. There too Sir Christopher Wren devised two of the earliest recording instruments,1 one of which was later modified by Robert Hooke. But it was not until the latter part of the seventeenth century that a widespread interest began to appear in the construction of various types of rain gauges and in obtaining systematic volumetric measurements of precipitation.

By Asit K. Biswas, Chapter 11 of the book: History of Hydrology, 1970, North-Holland Publishing Company, Amsterdam.

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